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Presentation To Feature Stories
About Police Women Killed in Duty

Please Note: This lecture has been cancelled and will be re-scheduled.

The life and death of 160 women law enforcement officers will be the topic of a lecture on Wednesday, Jan. 31 in the Criminal Justice Center Auditorium at 2 p.m.

William Wilbanks, author of "True Heroines: Police Women Killed in the Line of Duty in the United States from 1916-1999," will talk about the officers, present photo displays, and discuss local, state and national memorials in honor of the service of these officers. The lecture is open to the public.

A total of 61 of the 160 female officers were shot and 79 were killed in auto/air accidents including 14 by drunk drivers. The youngest was 20 and the oldest was 68; two were killed during their first week on the job and one on her last scheduled day of work.

Seven were killed by "friendly fire;" four by a spouse or ex-spouse. Nine of the women were the first of their sex hired by their agency. More than 25 were married to fellow officers, and more than 30 had degrees in criminal justice.

California (19) and Texas (13) had the most women killed. Twelve were federal officers and 21 were correctional officers. Women officers killed in 1998 were eight percent of the total number of officers killed that year. Women constitute approximately ten percent of the general police population.

Wilbanks is a Sam Houston State University alumnus and retired professor of criminal justice. He taught at Florida International University from 1973-1999, and now lives in Belton. He is the author of 10 books and 70 journal articles and book chapters. He appeared 30 times on national television from 1981-1997, including four appearances on CNN's "Crossfire" and two appearances on CBS's "60 Minutes."

Wilbanks taught a course on homicide at FIU for 20 years. His prior books on homicide include "Murder in Miami: An Analysis of Homicide Patterns and Trends in Dade County, Florida, 1917-1983," "The Make My Day Law: Colorado's Experiment in Home Protection," and a series of five books on officers killed entitled "Forgotten Heroesä.". The previous books, written before the "True Heroines" book, included stories about police officers from Miami-Dade County, Florida; Greenville County, South Carolina; early Florida from 1840-1925; and Alaska.

Wilbanks' research has resulted in the addition of more than 75 names to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. and to the creation of a "Wall of Honor" at the Dade County Police Academy honoring the more than 100 officers killed in Miami-Dade County since 1895.

Wilbanks is a native of Belton and received a bachelor of arts degree from Abilene Christian College in 1963. He received the master of arts degree in criminal justice from SHSU in 1972 and the master of arts from the State University of New York at Albany, also in 1972. He was awarded the Ph.D. in criminal justice from SUNY-Albany in 1975.

He taught in the graduate programs of both SHSU and SUNY-Albany. He is considered an expert in citizen use of deadly force, racial bias and the death penalty, homicide and the criminal justice system, the Attica prison riot of 1971, guns and crime, and police officers killed in the line of duty.

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SHSU Media Contact: Julia May
Jan. 25, 2001
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